Monday, November 19, 2012

Sam Adams Longshot Results 2012

Yeah a free shirt

Today I opened the mail and found a package from Boston Beer Company.  Expecting only a email from them I was intrigued.  Inside was the shirt pictured above and my Longshot results.  Along with a thank you letter from Jim Koch, the founder of Boston Beer Company.

Knowing my beers did not advance I knew they scores would be lower than I wanted.  I was somewhat surprised about the results.  My Irish Red that I brewed for our "Red Off" back in April did the best.  Scoring a 38.5.  My 4C's Rye Red IPA did not do as well scoring a 31 overall.

Here are the judges comments:

Alroy Irish Red:  Scored a 38.5 Overall, Category# 9D Irish Red 

Judge #1, National 34/50

Aroma: Malt Sweetness, Carmel Like with slight buttery-No hop aroma, right to style.

Appearance: Deep Red to amber, off white head to tan head.

Flavor: Some nice sweetness w/carmel.  But hop flavor is to high for style.

Mouthfeel: Smooth except the hops are to high for style.

Overall Impression: Very drinkable beer except the hops were more than should be.  Still it had the nice roasted dry finish.

Judge #2, Certified  41/50

Aroma: Moderate bready, Caramel malt aroma, toffee, no hop aroma.  A touch of butter, OK for style

Appearance: Deep Amber, Red Highlights, medium off-white head, tight bubbles, excellent retention, brilliant clarity.

Flavor: Moderate carmel malt - flavor caramel.  No hop flavors, lighty buttery - again OK for Style.  Malty balanced, dries somewhat.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, no warmth, no astringency

Overall Impression: Well brewed example of the style.  Beautiful color and clarity.  Some Diacetyl notes but once again OK for style.

Judge #3, National, 36/50

Aroma: Toasty malt w/hint of roast, No hop aroma, low fruitiness, slight diacetyl, no DMS

Appearance: Copper Color, almost brilliant, Creamy ivory head with great head retention.

Flavor: Low caramel sweetness, moderate toast with moderate diacetyl, no hop flavor, low bitterness, amplified by dark grain character.  Malty finish with caramel butter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation, low warmth, low creaminess.  Slight graininess. 

Overall Impression: A clean, well made example of the style - grain bill is spot-on for the style, as is the bitterness.  The diacetyl level is ok for the style, but high for my palate, but it is acceptable.


4C's Rye Red IPA: Scored a 31/50 Overall, Category# 23A Specialty Ale

Judge #1, Grand Master II, 32/50 

Aroma: Moderately robust rye spiciness and hops in unison.  Touch of grapefruit and toast.  No diacetyl, hint of alcohols,  Earthy aroma and "tomcat" aroma

Appearance: Amber/copper, Very clear, Ivory head.  Abit creamy.  Great head retention with abit of lacing.

Flavor:Resing/earthy, hop flavor dominates at a high level and linger off.  Dry finish, mid taste is earthy and spicy.  NO Diacetyl, moderately high bitterness, abit out of balance as to malt is covered by hops.  Covering the Rye entry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, med/high carbination. Abit of warmth.  Somewhat creamy.  High hopping rate...leads to abit of harshness

Overall Impression: Very drinkable, flavorfull beer.  The rye was more pronounced in the aroma, cut back the flavor hops to expose the rye spice.  Cleanly brewed, this will mellow with some age.  Quite hoppy covering the rye.

Judge #2, Certified, 30/50

Aroma: Spice notes, carmel, toffee, low floral 

Appearance: Red copper, brilliant clarity, off white head

Flavor: Hop bitterness, low malt flavors, rye spice in the finish.  Toffee and carmel

Mouthfeel:  Medium body, some hops

Overall Impression: The rye is overpowered by the bittering hops, so that the complexity of the hops is lost.

Judge #3, Not included in packet 


Overall, I am really happy I entered this competition.  Plus it is free with a great prize pack.  Reading the judges comments really put the beer into perspective.  

I had some Diacetyl problems with the 4C's Rye IPA in the 1st two batches that carried over into the bottles.  I changed the recipe and changing to a longer boil time, it seems like the problem is gone.  If I enter the 4C's again, I might look at entering it under the Imperial IPA category or the American IPA category.  It seems like the judges want a more pronounced Rye flavor when listing the Rye as a specialty grain.  This beer has it, but it is very subdued overall with more hop aroma than anything.

The Alroy was a surprise, personally I really didn't like it.  Style wise, this is just not my cup of tea.  When I tasted the extra bottles I had around the house I wasn't to impressed.  Of course this beer scored the best, go figure. 

I never did a "Tasting Session" for my Alroy Irish Red.  Danny at Deeper Roots has some thoughts over at his blog.  DeeperRoots Brewing.

Here are my "Tasting Session" notes for 4C's Rye IPA.

1 comment:

  1. I think you should be excited about the commentary you got from the judges. They had a lot of really positive things to say about both beers, and their criticisms were pretty constructive.

    It's amazing that the diacetyl that we both tasted in the 4C's is such a phantom flavor. It's almost like a bottle-by-bottle situation where it's only present in a select few.

    Your Irish Red made me realize how shitty mine was. :) Congrats on your scores!


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!